Tuesday, March 6, 2018
IdN v24n4: Branded Stationery & Collateral — Much More Than Just A Minimalist Business-Card
Although it’s curious to think that mainly paper-based stationery still has such a large role to play in this Internet Age, it undoubtedly epitomizes that trade-off: it should look good while providing a basic amount of vital information — name, address, telephone numbers, e-mail, etc. This is where the struggle between form and content takes centre-stage.
Is it all about selling a brand or establishing an identity? And what is the difference anyway? The line that separates the two seems to be fast disappearing and many people these days would have difficulty differentiating between them. If a brand is about the relationship between a company or a product and its customers, identity could be said to be about building a memory structure around that brand through consistent, engaging artefacts that reflect a series of values.
Thursday, December 14, 2017
IdN v24n3: Sequential Art, Comics & Illustration — Thinking Inside the Box
Although more commonly referred to as “comics”, especially if the tales told concern the antics of super-heroes, the remit of a narrative genre in which illustrations share equal billing with the words is much wider than that of simply propagating fantastic world-saving feats.
It can involve film-making story-boards, animation and speech balloons, and with its 2D presentation of “moving” graphics, it acts as a kind of halfway house between literature and the cinema. Good drawing skills are as necessary as the ability to delineate a plausible story-line. But within those very wide parameters, there is room for as many styles as there are practitioners of them.
Monday, October 23, 2017
In Grid We Trust
Regular publications such as newspapers or magazines quickly establish their own grid systems, which become part of their fundamental identity. Place the spreads from two magazines side by side and you should instantly be able to spot the difference. Yes, a branding colour can help to delineate them, but at the end of the day it is the grid that counts.
In this issue, we have gathered together a total of 55 designers who have fallen in love with editorial design. If you have aspirations to follow in their footsteps, their views make compulsive reading and these examples of their work should serve as a constant inspiration.
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
Much More Than Mere Eye-Candy
Many people make the huge mistake when it comes to packaging design of dismissing it as mere eye-candy, created simply to arrest the progress of undecided shoppers and coerce them into an impulse buy. There is so much more to it than that that one hardly knows where to begin.
In the following feature article, one of the most fascinating we have published, some 68 creative individuals and entities share both their best work and their thoughts on packaging design, which are as diverse as the subject itself. We know you will enjoy it and we hope you will be inspired by it. And perhaps even give some thought to how we can all contribute to making the business of packaging more environmentally friendly, with a greater accent on re-cycling and re-using.
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
The Perpetual Promise of a Repeat Performance
Pattern is one of the most under-rated — and therefore often unfairly disregarded — genres of design. All you have to do, surely, is come up with a few elements that in terms of colour, shape, form and size combine well together, and then repeat them ad infinitum, no? This is a common misapprehension of the uninitiated. The truth is that pattern-creation can be as simple or as complex as you choose to make it. And it is something that almost every designer has had recourse to during their career.
So all the rules that apply to design in general are relevant to the act of creating a memorable pattern; none more so than that it should tell some sort of a story… and answer the client’s brief — to sell a product, market a brand, advertise an event, whatever — as succinctly and impactfully as possible. As always, simplicity is the hardest goal to achieve. What could be a more basic pattern-design concept that the monogram? Yet a truly successful one can take hours, days, weeks and months even, to come up with.
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Find your way in the world of way-finding
Exhibitions and conferences are among the most popular projects for environmental designers, given their temporary nature and concurrent need for compression of lots of information as well as luring people to particular, possibly competing, attractions. They have to know how to reach the exits, the first-aid centre, the toilets and the canteen, but they also have to decide between various activities, booths or sectors. Obviously, for the sake of harmony, the signage for these should share a visual identity, and if this can reflect the project’s brand — either as a permanent venue or its temporary sponsorship — so much the better.
In this issue, we have asked 54 leading designers/creative units, who have made something of a speciality of various kinds of environmental design, to show us some of their favourite work in this field and give us an insight into their approach by picking a project, actual or hypothetical, that they would like to engage with and telling us briefly how they would go about making a success of it.
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
UX and UI
Interactive design lives and breathes by its viewers’ responses, be they emotional or physical. From its introduction in the mid-1980s as “interaction design”, which was largely confined to the industrial world, to its proliferation today using the short-hand terms UI (user interface) and UX (user experience), it has come to dominate the contemporary design scene — in the shape of everything from architecture and products to websites, video games, veejaying… and the crock of gold at the end of the design rainbow that is an application, or “app”.
In the following pages, no fewer than 54 cutting-edge interactive designers, apart from presenting their work, were asked to expand on what they consider to have been their most successful efforts so far. And in doing so, they reveal their thinking on the complex issue of how eternal design attributes — the deployment of typography and graphics to the best advantage — chime with the demands of usability.
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
The Writing’s on the Wall? Yes and No…
As with vinyl records and collectible magazines, it seems that rumours of the death of the printed poster have been greatly exaggerated. Dormant, perhaps, but certainly not dead. And there are practitioners of this art who maintain that a strategically positioned sheet of words and illustrations can make more impact than ever in this digital age.
Of course, if mass circulation and speed of communication is the aim, digital is the way to go. But why not employ both techniques simultaneously? If well executed, the printed poster enjoys a huge advantage over one produced specifically for the Internet — longevity.
And even if you do not intend to actually purchase it — as a souvenir or an artwork in its own right — the printed poster has the innate capacity to hold a viewer’s attention for much longer than a briefly glimpsed screen image.
Tuesday, August 2, 2016
How to Express the Inexpressible.
Perhaps never before in history has there been such a preoccupation with identity. Everyone wants to stand out from the crowd. And in this frantic scramble to seize what Andy Warhol famously described as everybody’s “fifteen minutes of fame”, we very often become reduced to ciphers by the very popularity of the trends we are following to achieve this, be it the fashions we favour, the tattoos and piercings with which we decorate our bodies, the never-to-be-seen-again selfies we endlessly snap on our iPhones, or the “likes” we strive so hard to accumulate via Facebook and Twitter.
What's in this issue:
• Retail & Business
• Food & Hospitality
• Studios & Creatives
• Culture & Events
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Costumes allow for anonymity. Used in ancestral events or corporations, they can be synonymous of a rite of passage, of colour, of joy, of celebration, of uniformity and of dressing-up.
Man changes identity when he changes clothes. He puts on a role. Clothing is disturbing because it imposes a contradiction. We show, yet hide. We are bound to an outfit in which we are singled out. Costumes exist to speak, to assert things even. They have the extraordinary ability to provide another image of oneself to others for a moment. Although clothes don’t make the man, there is room for doubt…
Let’s make room for princesses of an evening, everyday gentlemen, uptight officers and all those who want to be and appear distinct. Showtime!